A Persian Silk tree in an urban walkway.
Persian Silk Tree Persian Silk trees can thrive in the Hardiness Zone 9B as defined on New Mexico's Climate Ready Tree list. © Adobestock


Tree Experts Release New Climate-Ready Tree Lists for Cities Across New Mexico

Media Contacts

Climate-ready tree lists are now available online from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for cities and towns across the state of New Mexico which identify trees that will survive, even thrive in our warming world. This follows the overwhelming success around the first-ever climate-ready tree list for Albuquerque.

Led by TNC in New Mexico – and in collaboration with State Forestry, Tree NM, and many experts from across the Southwest – the team first developed a list of species to be evaluated, including fruit trees, ornamentals, shade trees and native species from across the region.

Following USDA hardiness zones – a national framework based on the average minimum temperature for an area– combined with future climate predictions, the team scored trees to determine which ones are most ready for our warmer, drier conditions.

“Climate change is the biggest threat we face. TNC works to find ways to adapt to and offset warmer, drier temperatures. These lists are a step in the right direction. It’s going to take all of us working together to be effective,” Terry Sullivan, state director for TNC in New Mexico said.

Trees are vital to people and communities because they provide benefits including cooler temperatures, cleaner air, lower energy bills, increased property values and economic opportunities.

The Urban and Community Forestry program within the State Forestry Division mission is to assist communities build and sustain healthy community forests through technical assistance, volunteer, and training programs as well as funding to plant trees.

“Tree species selection needs to keep in mind present conditions as well as future challenges and these lists of resilient trees is a resource that can be used to ensure NM community forests survive, thrive, and continue to provide essential services.” added Alyssa O’Brien, Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager.”

Tree NM’s mission focuses on planting and educating the public on how to care for urban trees, including how to appropriately water, stake and prune them.

“In the last six years, we have increased the Albuquerque urban canopy by over 9,500 trees, said Kelly White, Tree New Mexico. “Our expertise is in organizing all aspects of a planting event and using volunteer labor to get the work done. Trees find a home and are correctly planted while volunteers learn about trees and have fun.”

Tree NM has community tree planting events scheduled over the next 12 months across the state including Las Cruces, Gallup, and Santa Fe.

The new web feature provides easy-to-use guides for municipalities, neighborhoods, and individuals under specific site conditions – starting with the 9B Hardiness Zone. Information online includes:

  • Photos and descriptions
  • Tree descriptions
  • Where to Plant
  • Tree Needs
  • Pest Risks

Right now, you can find 9B trees listed on the site. We will add additional trees in different hardiness zones to the site soon.

You can see the full statewide list here.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.